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Letters to the Editor

Sat., Oct. 31, 2009

All people owed fairness

People are not guaranteed rights because they are black or white.

People are not guaranteed rights because they are women or men. People are not guaranteed rights because they are gay or straight.

People are guaranteed rights because they are individuals, because they are people.

Referendum 71 is not about “special” rights but equal rights. The issue is fairness, not favoritism.

We cannot let the argument be misconstrued; the debate is whether or not two consenting adults can enter into a legally binding contract.

Those who oppose this bill cite a slippery slope of societal degradation if Referendum 71 is approved. However, the approval of Referendum 71 cannot be shown to necessitate the negative effects that opponents espouse.

Rather, the approval of Referendum 71 will guarantee hospital visitation rights, death benefits for partners of civil servants, insurance coverage and other vital protections for domestic partners.

A vote for Referendum 71 will uphold the state Legislature’s Senate Bill 5688.

It does not change the definition of marriage or give same-sex couples the right to marry. Instead, it extends crucial protections to same-sex couples as well as senior citizens.

That is why I urge you to approve Referendum 71.

Nate Clemons

Spokane



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